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Anonymous sources

WikiTribune is an evidence-based journalism platform which strives for a neutral point of view. Only in exceptional circumstances where it’s necessary for the safety or security of a source or the release of material of public interest should anonymous sources be used.

WikiTribune staff intending to quote an unnamed source are expected to clear that decision with the Launch Editor or his delegate. Community members can expect an editor to query decisions to use an anonymous source to ensure that it is justified to withhold that person’s identity.

WikiTribune intends to uphold high standards of respect for confidentiality of sources but is equally aware some sources may hide behind anonymity for nefarious reasons. Such judgements will be made on a case by case basis by senior editors.

Valuable information on anonymity and the protection of sources is in this article from the Society of Professional Journalists in the United States.

This is a working document. You are welcome to EDIT it or use TALK on the top right of this page. Thank you.

Talk (4)


Ralph Rau

"In these Trumpian days of alt-facts ..."
Peter Bale

Peter Bale

"Interesting idea, thank you. In many ..."

geoff goodfellow

"thought y'all might find This Column ..."

John Tyler

"An anonymous source not authorised to..."

History for Project "Anonymous sources"

Select two items to compare revisions

15 March 2018

29 October 2017

17:42:19, 29 Oct 2017 . . Anonymous sources . .‎ Peter Bale (talk | contribs)‎ (updated → Category and topics updated)

23 October 2017

15:04:24, 23 Oct 2017 . . Anonymous sources . .‎ Peter Bale (talk | contribs)‎ (updated → Updated, removed DRAFT)

21 October 2017

18 October 2017

21:06:29, 18 Oct 2017 . . Anonymous sources - DRAFT . .‎ John Tyler (talk | contribs)‎ (updated → Remove unnecessary word)

17 October 2017

17:43:47, 17 Oct 2017 . . Anonymous sources - DRAFT . .‎ Peter Bale (talk | contribs)‎ (updated → Created and edited)

Talk for Project "Anonymous sources"

Talk about this Project

  1. In these Trumpian days of alt-facts and the North Korean nuclear denouement we are desperately in need of factual news but also of positive uplifting Good News. Stories that will restore our faith in the the ultimate redemption of a human race that has fallen far short of our sublime potential.

    WikTRIBUNE needs to devote itself to a creating and maintaining a balanced world. To disproving the tired old adage that – No News is Good News.

    Stories of Hope, of Success against the odds, of Change for the better, of a truly Greener and fairer society.

    May this Tribune herald the dawn of a brave new and better world.

  2. thought y’all might find This Column in “entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar’s Civil Beat that was launched in 2010 as a local digital platform that looks beyond traditional print and television media approaches ( ) of possible interest:

    Reader Rep: When Anonymous Sourcing Is Practically Encouraged

  3. An anonymous source not authorised to speak on behalf of…

    An anonymous source in the office of…

    An anonymous source with knowledge of…

    Those aren’t very helpful to a reader trying to gauge the legitimacy of a particular statement. Perhaps we should also include the reason that the editors chose to maintain anonymity? Or would every reason be ‘to avoid negative consequences of being associated with this piece of news’?

    It feels like any stories with anonymous sources should be somewhat devalued, but then again I’m not a journalist so I’ve never had to cover for a source. Maybe just clearly mark the story at the top as ‘includes anonymous sources’ to distinguish from other stories that can be more directly verified? That seems like a way to measure broadly how open a site is, based on the percentage of its stories that have completely verifiable sources.

    1. Interesting idea, thank you. In many cases of course sensitive information would never emerge were it not for anonymous sources but we should always be clear when and why we are using them — personal safety for example.

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